Does rapping your CSR report engage millennials?

15 April 2016

Scene from Heineken video

I kid you not, Heineken has gotten Dutch rap artist Kevin ‘Blaxtar’ de Randamie to perform an overview of their 2015 sustainability report.

It’s visually well produced, lots of engaging visuals with key stats from the report, lots of creative camera work, and Blaxtar has a compelling presence at the centre of the video.

In my view, it’s a well-made, gorgeous failure. One of those experiments where you try out ways of getting to a new audience that you learn from on the way to finding the route that works. It’s certainly not to Heineken’s discredit that it doesn’t quite make it. They are taking risks, pushing boundaries, and I only wish more companies were doing the same.

Why doesn’t it quite make it? Well, if you’re really trying to reach millennial audiences, you don’t title your video “Sustainability Report 2015”, even if you tack “Let’s Get Frank” to the end of it. That title, right there, is an immediate huge barrier to engagement.

Secondly, it may be a well-produced video with a charismatic voice, but it is still a trawl through some key stats. That’s not the same as telling a story. It’s like a party game. “Now, summarise your report through the medium of interpretive dance.” That makes it interesting as an exercise, but not compelling.

The video, at the time of writing, has been viewed a modest 5,500 times. That said, it’s a considerably higher figure than other videos in the Heineken channel, which are measured in the low hundreds. But if the ambition is “to engage millennials” then those are not the sorts of numbers that indicate success.

The video is shown below. What do you think? Have I got it wrong?